Article and photographs: Senem Peace

Sometimes the closest ones are the furthest! Have your ever kept saying to yourself that you’re going to visit “that” place, which is just a few hours from your home? The relief of having those places nearby, and the possibility to reach them whenever you want, gives a slackness. That’s true.

Then you know what happens? You don’t go there. One day you realize that years passed by, and you still postponing that visit. The “highly-likely possibility to have it” has made you think that you already have it. But, you don’t.

Alderley Edge is on the doorstep where we live. For me it is totally new, but my husband grew up here. And he admitted that it was over 20 years since he last came to visit the Edge. So, last week we went there. It was an amazing experience for me, because it reminded me of the books I read when I was a kid. The mythical tales of the ancient times, about wizards, knights and magic…

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Alderley Edge’s name is coming from wooded escarpment towering the Cheshire Plain. On the Egde where the big rocks lays, you face Poynton, Manchester, Woodford… All the Cheshire Plain is under your feet.

Some parts of the Edge is under heritage protection because of its arheological features. It is known that there has been mining activity for over 4000 years, from early Bronze Age through to the early 20th century. It is the oldest metal-mining site of England, which dated back to 1900 BC. This prehistoric copper mine also had a handful of stone hammers and other kind of prehistoric stone tools, which probably were used in mining.

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Engine Vein at Alderley Edge where the mining activity discovered.

As Alderley Edge is the highest point of the area, it was a good place for setting ancient alarm systems, like Beacons. The Armada Beacon was one of them on the Edge but in 1931, after a fire, it was demolished. Today you can find a memorial stone on the summit.

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Above all, the myth of the place is the most interesting one. According to the tale, a wizard guards a cavern of knights with their armours and white mares, and they’re supposed to wake for the dire peril. This Wizard sometimes named as the White Wizard or famous Merlin. And the leader of the Knights told to be King Arthur on some tales. The story is roughly like that:

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A farmer was taking his milk-white mare to Macclesfield Fair to sell her. When they were passing Alderley Egde the mare stopped and didn’t want to go. Then an old wizard appeared and asked him to buy the mare. The farmer thought he could sell it for a better price on the fair and refused his offer. But he couldn’t sell the mare and turned back to Alderley Edge again. The Wizard asked the farmer to follow him and took him along many paths until they came to a rock. When he touched the rock, it split and an iron gate appeared. They passed through the iron gate to a path, which was going deep down the hill. Then they came to a cavern, where the farmer saw hundreds of knights with their mares sleeping. The Wizard said that the knights were waiting to fight the last battle of the world, and that he was to wake them when that moment came. But there was one mare missing…

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You can’t be sure, where you will find the most amazing things in your life. They don’t need to be so far far away. We shouldn’t forget that, the distance is what we created. It’s not something we are exposed to.

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